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Download Galapagos and Ecuador - Onboard the Corals Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Quito
You will be met on arrival at Quito Airport and transfered to our Quito hotel. Remainder of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Quito.
Day 2: Quito
Explore the bustling streets and squares of the largest historical centre in the Americas. On our tour we visit some of its most important churches such as the majestic La Compañía (Society of Jesus Church) and iconic San Francisco, guardians of a stunning multi-ethnic artistic and cultural heritage. Drive through the traditional neighborhood of San Juan. Finish the tour at the "Panecillo" hillside with its breathtaking views of the old and modern city. Overnight in Quito.
Day 3: Explore Calerdon, Cuicocha, Crater Lake, Cotacachi
We depart early on our tour including Calderon, a village known for its decorative bread dough figurines, the valleys of Guayllabamba and Cayambe, with landscapes dotted with towering volcanoes and amazing opportunities for taking pictures. You will have a delicious lunch. of local Ecuadorian specialties while musicians play on traditional instruments. Then you will go to the crater lake of Cuicocha, and finally the leather-making village of Cotacachi. Overnight at a traditional hacienda or inn near Otavalo.
Day 4: Train to Ibarra, Salinas and Otavalo Market, back to Quito
From Otavalo, we drive to Ibarra and go to the train station. The Chaski Antawa Train (messenger train) runs on the railway built at the beginning of the 20th century connecting the northern highlands to the tropical coast. From Ibarra, the train climbs down to the warm, dry valley of Ambuqui, through sugarcane plantations, magical landscapes, and tunnels, crossing bridges that span deep canyons and gullies. The 26-km ride to Salinas plunges from 7,216 to 4,920 feet (2,200 mt down to 1,500 mt) above sea level in only about two hours. Enjoy a unique lunch at Kleintours' social project, the "Chaski Antawa Restaurant", which is our way of helping the Valley of Salinas and its surrounding area become a tourist destination and raising the standard of living of its inhabitants. Its menu was carefully selected and drawn up by the community using high quality standards. We then travel to Otavalo and its famous indigenous arts and crafts market, the largest in South America. Overnight in Quito.
Day 5: Fly to Galapagos Islands, Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz)
This morning you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Baltra Island where we are greeted by our Galapagos guides.
Day 6: Santa Fe, South Plaza (Plaza Island)
We land on Sante Fe on a white sand beach surrounded by a sea lion colony; continue walking through an endemic cactus forest as we search for the endemic Santa Fe land iguana, the largest in the islands and distinctively paler than other species of iguana. This island is home to a number of endemic species including Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos Snake, rice rats, a variety of finches and one of the four species of Galapagos mockingbirds. On Sante Fe we will have the opportunity for deep-water snorkeling.
Day 7: Rabida, Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz)
Dark-red sand covers these unique beaches; Rabida is considered the epicenter of the Galapagos Islands due to the diversity of its volcanic geology. Nesting Brown Pelicans are found from July through September and nine species of the famous Darwin's finches can be seen as well. We will also take a dinghy ride along cliffs to observe nesting seabirds, and snorkel off the coast, where marine life is particularly active.
Day 8: Daphne AND Ballena Bay/Eden Islet (Santa Cruz)
We circumnavigate the islet of Daphne, an eroded tuff cone formation that was created by successive volcanic activity, for an opportunity to see Darwin's finches, Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, Red-billed Tropicbirds, Swallow-tailed Gulls and Brown Noddies.
Day 9: Puerto Villamil (Isabela)
Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island is one of the few inhabited areas of the Galapagos; we will visit four spots: Tintoreras, Humedales (lagoons of Villamil), Muro de las Lagrimas (the Weeping Wall), and the tortoise breeding center.
Day 10: Moreno Point and Elizabeth Bay (Isabela)
The main attractions at Punta Moreno are coastal lagoons amidst black lava flows where bird life is particularly interesting. It has a panoramic view of three volcanoes, the most active of the Galapagos: Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul on Isabela Island and La Cumbre, on Fernandina Island. Mangrove forest, lava formations, coastal and migratory birds and usually flamingos, can be seen here. Lava cactus, sea turtles, lagoons and tidal pools, candelabra cactus are other highlights to be encountered.
Day 11: Tagus Cove (Isabela) and Espinosa Point (Fernandina)
Today we have a dry landing on the Galapagos' largest island, where we will learn about the eruption of the five volcanoes that form it. The trail leads to Darwin's saltwater crater lake and excellent views of lava fields and volcanic formations. We will return by the same path for a dinghy ride along a shoreline full of marine wildlife, where we will admire a variety of seabirds, such as Bluefooted Booby, Brown Noddy, terns, Flightless Cormorant and depending on the season, a large number of Galapagos Penguins which are only 35 cm. tall; the only penguin species in the world to extend its range into the northern hemisphere along the equator. They are monogamous and lay their eggs in small cracks of lava, on the lower parts of the island near the shoreline not reached by the ocean waves.
Day 12: Depart for Quito
In the morning we will return to Baltra for our flight to Quito and a free evening in Quito. Overnight in Quito.
Day 13: Depart Quito
Transfer to the airport.
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